In August, the United States Justice Department announced that the Federal Bureau of Prisons will phase out the use of private prisons.
This decision was based partly on a declining federal inmate population, but also on the multiple deficiencies of private prisons compared to federal government managed prisons. The Office of Inspector General released a report in August which stated:
“Our analysis of data on safety and security indicators found that contract prisons had more incidents per capita than BOP institutions in three quarters of the categories we examined…” The Justice Department concluded that federal private prisons were less safe, secure, and did not save substantial money. This decision does not apply yet to immigration detention facilities or private state prisons.
Ohio is an example of the ineffectiveness of state private prisons. In 2011, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the United States, started managing the Lake Erie Correctional Institution. By 2012, Ohio state audits revealed inadequate staffing, negligent medical treatment, and “unacceptable living conditions” inside the prison. The deplorable conditions included inmates lacking access to running water and toilets. Because of the violations,Ohio docked the company nearly $500,000.
Colorado and Mississippi are ending their use of private prisons.
Although less than 10% of state inmates are in private prisons, it is time to stop the practice. Colorado and Mississippi are now ending their use of private prisons.
The companies that manage private prisons are lured by the goal of profit. In order to increase profit, shortcuts have been taken which resulted in terrible living conditions, and less safety for inmates and correctional officers.
The Democratic party under Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pres. candidate Hillary Clinton have advocated for the end of private prisons.
Under private prisons, rehabilitation, successful re-entry, and recidivism are sacrificed for more profit.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com